DM Blog

Boys Die in Circumcision Rites


I came across this article by David Smith in The Guardian via a friend of mine:

Boys die in circumcision rites

Thirty-seven boys have died in botched circumcisions while undergoing tribal rites of passage in South Africa, health officials said today.

The toll so far this winter represents a dramatic increase on last year’s 24 deaths. They are concentrated in Eastern Cape province, where circumcision is an annual ritual among the Xhosa, the second biggest ethnic group in the country.

The growth of illegal “initiation schools”, where the procedure is sometimes carried out using blunt and rusty blades, has alarmed health professionals.

The 37 boys died of complications including dehydration, hypothermia and excessive bleeding.

Sizwe Kupelo, health spokesman for Eastern Cape, said that more than 100 boys had been hospitalised with infections caused by circumcision.

Doctors have removed boys from illegal initiation schools, he added, and police have arrested 11 people accused of performing the operations without licenses.

Did I read that correctly!? … blunt and rusty blades… Yikes! I’m surprised we haven’t heard more about this in mainstream news.